Uruguayan director Gustavo Hernandez made a splash in 2010 with “La casa muda,” a haunted-house thriller with the conceptual novelty of being ostensibly shot in a single, real-time take. Now, with his third feature, “You Shall Not Sleep
,” Hernandez moves into the mainstream of Spanish-language genre cinema, with a budget to match, but theresult is too glossy, contrived, and dependent on rote jump scares to raise much of a fright.
No-budget “Casa Muda” had a clammy, ominous atmosphere; “We Shall Not Sleep,” despite good art direction and an abandoned-asylum setting, feels like a convoluted and inorganic rehash of horror tropes from the start. That shouldn’t hurt its commercial prospects (it’s already opened in some South American countries and sold to other territories), but one hopes Hernandez regains some degree of creative idiosyncrasy in the future.
In outline, at least, “Sleep” appears cut from the same conceptual cloth as the director’s prior work,